Finding the Sweet Spot When It Comes to Your Server Refresh Cycle

Nothing lasts forever. Despite the rumors, even Twinkies have a limited shelf life.

Which is why the server refresh cycle is so important for organizations today. Servers don’t last forever, and waiting too long to replace can result in downtime and put your core business functions at risk. But on the flip side, if you refresh too soon and for the wrong reasons, it could be a costly decision that eats up most of your IT budget.

So How Do You Find That Server Refresh “Sweet Spot”?

When it comes to server refresh, there are plenty of factors to consider. Cost, frequently run applications, IT staff, current infrastructure, growth objectives, and your plans for emerging workloads all come into play. Unfortunately, with a server refresh, there is no magical, one-size-fits-all answer. The best time to refresh your servers is based on your organization’s unique needs and long-term goals. There are obvious costs associated with modernizing your on-premise infrastructure. But there are also substantial costs to NOT doing it. By continuing to run legacy hardware, you could be putting your organization at risk.

In the past, the average server refresh cycle was about 5 years. But that timeline has shifted. Today, it’s not uncommon for businesses to refresh on a 3-year cycle to keep up with modern technology. These companies aren’t just refreshing for the fun of it (although we agree that new servers and data center toys ARE exciting) – they’re doing so to meet increasing demands and strategically position themselves to handle new innovations of the future. They know they need to modernize to remain competitive and prepare for the new technologies.

Benefits of a Server Refresh

Modern servers are made specifically to handle emerging workloads. For example, the PowerEdge MX7000 features a Dell EMC kinetic infrastructure, which means that shared pools of disaggregated compute, storage, and fabric resources can be configured – and then reconfigured – to specific workload needs and requirements.

In addition to handling data-intense workloads, replacing servers and other critical hardware reduces downtime and greatly reduces the risk of server failure. Improved reliability means that your IT staff spends less time on routine maintenance, freeing them up to focus on things that add value to the business.

Additionally, newer servers provide greater flexibility and give you the opportunity to scale as needed based on changing demands. Some workloads, especially mission-critical applications, are best run on-premises, and a modernized infrastructure makes it easier to adapt and deploy new applications. A recent study by Forrester found that Modernized firms are more than twice as likely as Aging firms to cite faster application updates and improved infrastructure scalability.[1]

Modernized servers also enable you to virtualize. By layering software capabilities over hardware, you can create a data center where all the hardware is virtualized and controlled through software. This helps improve traditional server utilization (which is typically less than 15% of capacity without virtualization).

A server refresh presents a tremendous opportunity to improve your IT capabilities. New servers help you to remain competitive and position you for future data growth, innovative technologies, and demanding workloads that require systems integration.

For more information about the benefits of server refresh, download the Forrester study Why Faster Refresh Cycles and Modern Infrastructure Management Are Critical to Business Success or contact a Dell EMC representative today.

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[1] A commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Dell EMC, “Why Faster Refresh Cycles and Modern Infrastructure Management Are Critical to Business Success,” May 2019.